Kipper: The dog of my best friend Kathryn. Even though she was named after a man, she owned her name like a true lady. She never hurt any of us when we were little and annoying kids, and darn it, she sure could keep a secret. Went on walks and hikes with us; was decent at fetching sticks; resembled Buddy from Air-Bud. Also cuddled with me on Kathryn’s kitchen floor the night I broke up with my boyfriend in high school.
My thoughts for you, pet: Kathryn’s new dog doesn’t know me like you did. You win.
Smoky and Slinky: 2 gray cats of Tiffany’s, my other bff. Both ran away when we were in second grade, and I was not very sympathetic. One fled to the woods, the other to the…road. But my aversion to cats overpowered any other normal emotion, such as sadness or compassion. A few years later, as Tiffany went to Florida on a family vacation, Kathryn and I jokingly wondered aloud what it would be like if Buffy (their now only remaining pet) died when they were gone. Buffy died that week.
My thoughts for you, pet: I should have reacted like a better human being when you two rascals ran away. Maybe then I wouldn’t have accidentally predicted Buffy’s death. Oh karma, you bia.
Skippy: My next door neighbor’s dog. Black fur and loads of energy. Smelled bad but was too lovable, so I didn’t force any Listerine down its throat or kick it in the face. Without fail, you could yell “wanna go to grandma’s?!” and grab Skippy’s full attention. He fell for it every time, and I abused this trick to manipulate him often.
My thoughts for you, pet: Miss you and the creepy smile you had when you went swimming.
Cassie: Narcissistic cat that belonged to the OTHER next door neighbor. Cass the sass. Once, when I was nine, I threw a lawn chair from my deck at its face.
My thoughts for you, pet: Sorry I’m not sorry.
Jackson: Dog that lived a few houses up the street from me. My older sister convinced me he was Wishbone from the PBS television show.
My thoughts for you, pet: POSER! You taught me no historical lessons! Shoot, you can’t even talk! Ya dawg.
Nikki: This was my aunt and uncle’s dog. My family would often dog-sit when my uncle’s family was out of town. One time when Nikki was at my house and we were all at school or work for the day, she opened the back door of my house, opened the backyard gate, AND hopped on the mail truck. The mail lady let Nikki drive around with her for an hour or so before returning her to my backyard and re-locking the gate. True story.
My thoughts for you, pet: Sorry, but the real point of this story is that my mail lady is the best!
Rainbow: My beta fish. My sister, Hannah, bought me this gem when I turned 4 and a half. I thought it was fun to pour the fish flakes in the bowl. I overfed it and it died in less than two days. 😦
My thoughts for you, pet: I’m sorry. You were pretty.
Cocoa: Neighbor’s gerbil when I was growing up. Cocoa was clearly without direction or purpose in life, exemplified in the way it sucked water from a ginormous water bottle like a little punk and ran along its wheel going NO WHERE. I would sometimes feel pity for it, but then it peed all over me every time I tried to befriend it.
My thoughts for you, pet: uhhhh, BYE!
Pepsi: My sister’s rat in elementary school. Ate the head of her other rat.
My thoughts for you, pet: That’s perverse. Bet you’re in hell.